And if you needed something to push you over the edge, consider that this is one of the very few titles I’ve read in some time that’s printed and bound in the United States. It is, without a doubt, a quality piece from concept to print and would serve anyone interested in installing, servicing, or modifying a wiring system very well.

Hot Rod Wiring: A Detailed How-To Guide

Dennis Overholser

Wolfgang Publications

ISBN 978-1-929133-98-7

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth: His Life, Times, Cars, and Art

It’s hard to believe that Ed Roth departed more than a decade ago. It isn’t hard to believe, however, that we’re still hearing new stories about the guy. But that’s exactly what Pat Ganahl did in Ed “Big Daddy” Roth: His Life, Times, Cars, and Art.

If you don’t know Roth’s story, here it is in a nutshell: he was nuts, a bona fide wild-man deluxe hell bent on freaking out squares. At least that’s the way he’s been presented over the years in various other titles. And for the most part it’s true, at least on the surface. But what makes Ganahl’s account so pertinent, so salient after all these years, is the story behind the kandy-kolored tangerine flake streamline facade.

Rather than borderline insane, Roth was, by Ganahl’s account, an intensely gracious, soft-spoken, thoughtful, meticulous person—basically the inverse of all the traits used to describe him. But that’s the genius of this book. Just as Roth took seemingly disparate things—industrial design, pop culture, and art were his favorites—and blurred the lines among them, Ganahl established the linkages between Roth’s outlandish life and his rather ordinary updraggings.

Most biographers address a few of Roth’s early life but none so much as Ganahl does. This book is the culmination of several decades’ worth of research that explains rather than merely references Roth’s entire life. These are the stories from the people who knew him best, his family, his closest friends, and his former employees—some of which were all three.

Through these stories Ganahl makes the case that Roth, the son of German immigrants, made something from nothing more than a great deal of pluck. His pinstriping, for example, was a means to make some scratch on the side. He turned the idle time spent in the military as a means to make yet more money cutting hair, of all things. It’s this resourcefulness that explain his great accomplishments. He basically created a great deal of the fortunate circumstances that defined his successes.

What emerges is a very dynamic portrait of an even more dynamic man. For years the case was made that Roth was a crazy genius with most of the emphasis on the nutty part. But it’s only when balanced with Roth’s intelligent, rather calculated, and somewhat sensible side that we realize that he deserves far more credit than he’s been afforded.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth: His Life, Times, Cars, and Art

Pat Ganahl

CarTech

ISBN 978-1-934709-67-2

’40 Ford: Evolution, Design, Racing, Hot Rodding

In recent history it seems that any car not born a ’32 Ford got second-rate status. Specifically come the model’s Diamond Jubilee in 2007 one couldn’t swing a dead cat for fear of hitting a book written about the car or an event commemorating it.

But as all bubbles go the one about the Deuce had to burst. And since it has, we’re beneficiaries of some pretty interesting publications, the best with which I’ve crossed paths recently being Joseph P. Cabadas’ ’40 Ford: Evolution, Design, Racing, Hot Rodding. As the cover implies it’s everything ’40 Ford; however, the 160 or so pages therein tell a slightly different story. In fact, one could call the title a bit misleading; the book isn’t entirely about ’40 Fords. In fact he doesn’t get ’40 specific until page 78, two pages shy of the book’s halfway point.